Losing Yourself in a Relationship: Abuse and Co-dependence

Dear Liz,

I am struggling with understanding that my relationship is toxic. I continuously let the small amount of good overpower the immense amount of bad, and while I am aware of this, I still cannot let go. My partner continuously criticizes me for almost every aspect of my well-being. My messiness, my aspirations, whether I do nothing, or do too much, how I eat, dress, talk to others/act around others. They call me out on everything I do multiple times a day and if I even dare try to reason with them or give an example on how we do the same thing and it works both ways, they say all I do is critique them whenever they mention something because I “can’t take criticism.”

Continue reading

Hope Amidst Traumatic Grief

Dear Liz,

A very good friend of mine was murdered about four months ago. Her death outraged and saddened my entire community, and I’ve had a hard time accepting that she’s gone, because it just doesn’t seem real. I’m writing because I’ve had many dreams about her since it happened, and I’m not sure what they mean. Maybe she’s visiting me? Maybe my brain is rewinding to that event? Could you help me out? Continue reading

Victimized by Crime: Hope and Healing After Trauma

Dear Liz,

I’m a 26-year-old woman living a charmed life: 2 great kids, loving husband, well-to-do, intelligent, very attractive, very outgoing personality. A week ago I came home from shopping around noon and walked in on 3 teens (probably) burglarizing our house. Thankfully I was unhurt but was left tightly bound, gagged, face down and hogtied on the kitchen floor. I struggled furiously but couldn’t get free. Three hours later my kids and two of their friends arrived from school and found me “mmphing” and lying all tied up in a helpless, embarrassing heap. They removed the gag from my mouth but had to get a neighbor to untie the rest of me. I was humiliated and felt my self-esteem completely evaporate. A week has gone by and I’m depressed and feel like a schnook. For my kids to see me so utterly bound has destroyed my pride, sense of dignity. How do I recover from this mental ordeal and regain my sense of confidence, pride? Continue reading